Hello fellow photogs and creatives! This post launches what I hope will be the first of many educational articles that will give others insight into some of the inner workings of BRP. It was a long road to reach financial freedom with my business, and I had so many mentors on the way. It’s so important to me that I help lift other people who are out there trying to nurture their own dreams! You can do it, and you will- and I’ll help (er, or try)!
On the agenda is an important summary of some of the amazing tools that I use to help make my job more seamless. The ultimate goal being that I get to focus on the creative side of my work and leave clerical efforts to an absolutely minimum. Which is all the boring stuff- right?
1. Dubsado- A Client Management Software for Creatives
Talk about an all in one tool that really helps to streamline almost all aspects of client management- from the intial lead, to the follow up emails I send after their wedding day. Dubsado holds all of your clients, leads, and jobs in one easy to use package. I use it to send out electronic contracts, track all my invoicing, send payment reminders and so much more. They continue to grow, but I love that there are automated email messages to remind my clients of payment due dates, or even send out an album order form a couple weeks after their wedding. I am not joking when I say that once my clients are set up in my system, I hardly have to spend much time managing their account at all. They can access their own client portal to view their contract and see the status of their payments. Plus, a month before a wedding it will even send out a timeline questionnaire so that I can build out their perfect timeline. It’s been a game changer for my business!
Here’s just a small look into a Job input in my software (names blurred out, obvi):
2. Planoly- An Instagram Planner and Visualizer
I never hopped on the Instagram train. I know right- what?? Total shocker! I love social media but find that it really wears on me to have to consistently come up with content. There are so many creatives out there who have picture perfect feeds with amazingly cohesive pallets. The pressure! So I invested in this handy tool that really helps my scattered mind commit to the Gram (that’s something people call it right? Going with it). It allows me to load images in bulk and move them around to see what my feed will look like. I can even save hashtag groups within the app. I do it all right on my phone and it will remind me (yes, this is necessary) to push out my instagram for the day. Even if I haven’t mastered that swoonworthy feed- I am super close (maybe).
3. Pixieset- Client Photo Gallery Hosting Site
I need to start this post by saying that I wasn’t a full believer in Pixieset for my clients. At first, I used (and still religiously use) SmugMug. Smugmug is a fraction of the cost and another great hosting site. However, this year I took the plunge and started using Pixieset for my clients. I couldn’t help it! It’s so seamless, and beautifully convenient. So why is it different enough to justify the extra money?
- It allows you to organize a full wedding day into smaller parts for easier access to both clients and wedding professionals.
- I can easily track who is downloading what images and where. This is great when I am trying to follow up with use of my images on other professionals websites. So I can return the love!
- Anybody can create a favorite list from all the photos in a day, and only download their favorites. Or- I can access their favorites list so that when I design a wedding album I know exactly which images they want featured. Much easier than my previous system
My clients receive between 750-1500 images from their day. YES! That is a ton of pictures. SmugMug was forcing them to download all images(12 hours later), or one image at a time. Such a drag! And vendors are much more likely to use your images when they are easier to access. There are other amazing features that supercede SmugMug’s like security, the store functionality and so on. But- I still love SmugMug and use it for anything but wedding days. Check them out too and pick what is best for you!
4. Pixellu- Software for Album Design
If you are selling any type of album for your clients- GET THIS NOW. No matter where you purchase your albums from, it can help you create a custom design and layout for every album spread. It is heaven, basically… I use it for all my album designs, and it has a feature where you can send a cloud proof to your client for approval. Amazing? Yes.
This concludes the first education post on my blog! (Woot, woot!) Please comment with any questions you may have, or you can always send them through my email. I do my best to reach back out to everybody who is looking for a little extra guidance, but let me just tell you- this is day three of dry shampoo and a screaming kid. I promise to do my best!